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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ferguson as the end of politics

Ferguson: An event that signals the emptiness of a political system. One of the most surprising features of this event was the escalation of force. Much has been made of the use of military hardware by the local police. But that has been known for awhile and merely accelerated since the Patriot Act. But it was shocking to see this duel on the streets at night grow and grow. Like a cancer it had no rules to regulate its growth.

Is this the kind of duel envisioned by Baudrillard, the seduction of a new politics born of a politics that otherwise proceeds nowhere?  You could say that local police provoked a population under siege to rise in anger; a siege that had become too blatant to be tolerable. Race issues too. That narrative was part of it.

But I was taught that martial law, which this was, is always the signal of the failure of politics and I read Ferguson as such. There was nothing left to say or rather nothing left to represent or believe, for both sides. I think more of such unexpected events, based upon the same premise, will be forthcoming. It will not take the same form of an uprising...that’s done. But they will surprise.

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